Ustad Faiyaz Khan (8 February 1886 – 5 November 1950) was an Indian classical vocalist, an exponent of the Agra gharana of Hindustani classical music.[1][2] According to SwarGanga Music Foundation website, "By the time he died at Baroda, he had earned the reputation of being one of the greatest and most influential vocalists of the century."[3]

Faiyaz Khan
Born8 February 1886[1]
Died5 November 1950(1950-11-05) (aged 69–70)[2]
Baroda, Gujarat, India
Other namesAftab-e-Mausiqi (the Sun of Music)
Years active1924–1950[2]
SpouseHis wife died soon after their marriage. He never remarried.[2]

Early life edit

Born at Sikandara in the North-Western Provinces in 1886, he was the son of Safdar Hussain, who died four months before his birth. He was brought up by his maternal grandfather, Ghulam Abbas (1825-1934), who taught him music up to the age of 25.[2] He was also a student of Ustad Mehboob Khan "Daraspiya", his father-in-law, Natyan Khan and his uncle Fida Hussain Khan. According to an article on a music website titled, 'Great Masters of Hindustani Music', "Faiyaz Khan's musical lineage goes back to Tansen himself. His family is traced back to Alakhdas, Malukdas and then to Haji Sujan Khan (son of Alakhdas who became a Muslim)."[2]

Singing career edit

Considered a neo-classicist by some scholars of Indian classical music, Faiyaz Khan served for a long time as the court musician of Sayajirao Gaekwad III, the Maharaja of Baroda, where he was awarded the "Gyan Ratna" (Gem of Knowledge). The Maharaja of Mysore awarded him the title "Aftab-e-Mausiqi" (the Sun of Music) in 1908.[2] Faiyaz Khan's specialities were dhrupad and khyal, but he was also capable of singing thumri and ghazal. According to the musicologist Ashok Ranade, "There was no chink in his armour".[3]

Faiyaz Khan also composed several bandishes using the pen-name 'Prem Piya'.[3] His most popular thumri was Baaju band khul khul jaye. [2]

"He was a frequent performer in the musical conferences and circles of Lucknow, Allahabad, Calcutta, Gwalior, Bombay and Mysore and in concerts organised by provincial princes."[3] These princes often vied with one another to have the Ustad perform in their respective courts. The rulers of Baroda held him in high esteem and he was offered the seat to the right of the Maharaja of Baroda during the official functions of the royal court. He also performed at Jorasanko Thakurbari, the residential abode of Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941), who was an admirer of the Ustad. It is known that he had held a musical session at Jorasanko a few years before the passing away of Tagore. Other well-known admirers include tabla maestros such as Ahmed Jan Thirakwa, Amir Khan, Ali Akbar Khan, Vilayat Khan and Ravi Shankar.

Affected by a bout of typhoid in 1945 followed by tuberculosis restricted Faiyaz Khan to lower his pitch to B and B Flat, though in his prime, he always sang in C Sharp and C. The available recordings of the Ustad are almost entirely from his later years."[3]

Death and legacy edit

Faiyaz Khan died on 5 November 1950 at Baroda, Gujarat in India. Faiyaz Khan's tomb, situated in Vadodara, Gujarat was attacked during the 2002 Gujarat riots. Extensive damage was inflicted on the structure.[4][1]

Some of Faiyaz Khan's best-known students were Dipali Nag,[5] Dilip Chand Bedi, Sohan Singh, Asad Ali Khan (later migrated to Pakistan), Dhruvatara Joshi, Shrikrishna Ratanjankar and Jnanendra Prasad Goswamy, apart from in-house disciples such as Khadim Hussain Khan, Vilayat Hussain Khan, Latafat Hussain Khan, Ata Hussain Khan and Sharafat Hussain Khan. Faiyaz Khan himself was an admirer of Abdul Karim Khan of Kirana gharana. S. N. Ratanjankar was perhaps the last of his pupils who excelled both as a teacher and as a performer.

Discography edit

Release No. Raga
N 36050 (HMV) Ramkali (Alap & Khayal)
H 1331 (Hindusthan Records) Purvi & Chhaya
HH 1 (Hindusthan Records) Puriya & Jaijaivanti
H 793 (Hindusthan Records) Jaunpuri & Kafi
  • 78 rpm side A Lalat Aalaap, side B 'drut' – tadapata hoon jaise jale bin meene (Hindusthan Records)
  • Thumri Bhairavi Baazuband khul khul jaaey, his most popular thumri

References edit

  1. ^ a b c Rohiniprasad, K. (10 August 2005). "Profile of Ustad Faiyaz Khan, the great classical vocalist". Retrieved 6 July 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Profile of Faiyaz Khan on website, Retrieved 6 July 2017
  3. ^ a b c d e Profile of Faiyaz Khan on SwarGanga Music Foundation website, Retrieved 7 July 2017
  4. ^ Muralidharan, Sukumar (11 May 2002). "Cultural vandalism". Frontline magazine. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  5. ^ "Tribute to a Maestro - Faiyaz Khan". ITC Sangeet Research Academy website. Retrieved 30 November 2019.

External links edit

  • "Kudrat Rangibirangi" by Kumarprasad Mukhopdhyay, 1st edition.